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Thread: Strictly ii V I

  1. #1
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Strictly ii V I

    How do we build upon the basic ii V I into the more complex things we see people discussing on the boards?

    Substitutions? "Outside" options? Tritone subs? etc.etc.

    Well, frankly I have no idea!

    I thought if i posted the most basic ii V I with some bass and the most basic lead to go over it then we could discuss how to advance the process from there.

    So, to start with here is a ii V I in E.

    The chords I use are therefore:

    Fmin7 as the ii
    B7 as the V
    Emaj7 as the root I

    I underpin the progression with a basic bassline that tries not to be too clever. Then I use Emajor pent over the top for my lead with some passing tones to keep it slightly more entertaining.

    The result is something I think that is immediately recognisable, jolly, and straightforward.

    Perhaps those wanting to learn how to make these things more Jazz will start at this point with me first. Have a go using your major pent knowledge over the backing track provided and see what you can come up with.

    Then, when we've exhausted that option (shouldn't take too long), we can get some insight from the Jazz guys on what we can do to embellish the progression and our improvisation.

    I really don't know what options might be there but I know there is much to discuss and much to learn. So let's go!

    I post my version, a backing track, a ptab of the basic major pent shape (duh!) and also another ptab with the passing tones I used in my version...which didn't leave many untouched, but anyway it's a guide for those perhaps doing it first time (like me). I'm sure you'll come up with all sorts of options.

    The one thing I ask is that if we do want to progress with ideas on how the whole thing can become mroe complex/interesting then the poster takes time to discuss the theory or make reference to IBM articles that will help and/or post some ptabs with optional improv. scales etc.

    I'm looking forward to this, it should be fun and great learning!

    As always...Enjoy!
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    Last edited by UKRuss; 03-18-2006 at 02:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Licensed Moose
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    Awesome man! My theory knowledge isn't upto scratch to venture into anything outside of the standard scales/arpeggios but I'll definately give this a blast. Problem is, some thief stole my amp power lead from my last gig, so I have my PC power lead - I can either use my amp or PC but not both to record..

    Again, I loved your take on it. Very smooth and flowing. I can just see for the dim blue lights, smoke coming up from the floor, just near the stage.

    And, an excellent idea. I look forward to seeing how we can build upon this, for some 'advanced playing'.

    Nick
    Last edited by Lowthorpe; 03-18-2006 at 04:12 PM.
    I'll disagree with you for the sake of being contraversial.

  3. #3
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    I havn't done a strictly for a while so here goes...
    Heres my take on the ii V I progression. I'm using the very unadventurous Emajor scale through the whole thing. I think I dwell a little too much on the major third occasionally but major scale improvisation is not something I practise very much (I know I should) so if nothing else its made me use it. I think its a little too busy with 2 lines playing all the way through but I enjoyed working through it. I'm actually really looking forward to other people's take over this backing. Any comments/tips would be much appreciated .
    Ooo and Russ, great take as always .
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  4. #4
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    hey Ben!

    Nice playing! but...

    I agree, too busy with the twin guitars and possibly not stretching your self out of your rock comfort zone.

    I'd like to hear your clean take with no bends or rock licks Try for some jazz tone and go for learning to add a nw dimension of playing to your toolbox.

    that said though, i think you've improved since last i heard you in the rock context, someones been practicing!

    ps. like your soundclick stuff too.

  5. #5
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    Cheers Russ. Yep, been practicing loads for my recital next month . Actually, listening to it back again, I like it less than i did before, always the way lol. I'll give it a go again in the next week or so wen I have a bit more time away from studing for exams . I did the take inbetween chemistry coursework lol. Actually this evening i've been noodling around with a few lines trying 2 sort out some solos for the jazz band and come up wiv some intersting stuff that i can use for the next take .

  6. #6
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    Here we go, after a few Guinesses to celebrate a belated St Patrick's Day I decided to give this another go, mainly out of embarrassment at listening back to the previous one I posted.
    I went for a definate 'less is more' approach this time and despite there not being anything technically impressive in the take, it is certainly more musical. After spending a few minutes listening to the backing on the computer, I grabbed a guitar and after a couple of play alongs had something I thought was reasonable and recorded it and despite its simplicity and much more pleased with the results.
    PS. sorry Russ, the one bend crept in, couldn't help it .
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  7. #7
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    Nice one Russ. I'm looking forward to having a got at this one.

  8. #8
    Registered User Mateo150's Avatar
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    jolly quick little diddy
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    They call them fingers, but I never see them fing.

  9. #9
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Yes, I liked that one better Ben, simpler approach and better melody. Still struggling to move away from your embedded rock/blues approach to playing but it isn't easy to put all your learnt knowledge to one side. I think that's one of things i hope we can all take away from the exercise is how to be a more rounded player in genres outside our own preferences and comfort zones.

    Mateo, long time no see, welcome back! nice stuff. Perhaps a few passing tones that didnt quite work, or shoudl I say, resolve properly and I think string or two a little out of tune? but other than that, Jazzy tone and very nice example of what we're trying to acheive!

    Gerhard, looking foward to your take big time! Especially if you've managed to sort out that new jazz box? Later on as we progress, you can tell me all about those chord subs you showed me when we first discussed. I don't think i understood how you go about working out whats possible.
    Last edited by UKRuss; 03-19-2006 at 07:04 AM.

  10. #10
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    Couldn't resist. I added a piano comp first. The guitar is 1st half I'm trying to be at least a bit jazz - and failing. Then pianist gets a turnaround. Then I gave up and the last bit of guitar is my usual pent rubbish.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Joe Pass Jr's Avatar
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    Call me pretentious but E really doesnt cut the cheese when playing jazz. Well it does actually Anywho.

    A poor take, as allways. Basically i stuck to the Eb major scale and the Cm blues pent, throwing in some passing tones. Toward the end you will hear a Eb dom arpeggio which gave an interesting feel. Totally accidental ofcourse (no pun intended) But ill keep it in the bag and see what i can do with it in future.

    Thats about all the tech i can share, for i dont know much about it myself
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    Its not the techniques you use, but the music you make.

  12. #12
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Ash, Were you doing anything different chord wise with the keys? As always I liked the repeating theme in the guitar.

    Joe, LOL, you're right! I should have gone with some obscure (in a non jazz player way) key instead! Nice playing, similar kind of theme to my lead I thought but interesting you had some idea with an arp or two.

    Now, Lars (Santuzzo) tells me that it is sometimes common for this type of progression to cycle down a whole tone so that the I becomes the ii for the downcycle and so on...hmmm. I've been giving this some thought and think it is one way we could progress our backing track later on.

  13. #13
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    Ash, Were you doing anything different chord wise with the keys? As always I liked the repeating theme in the guitar.

    Nope, the comping keys is 100% with the chord tones of original chords, mostly diads at any one moment but sometimes triads. So you might get, say an Amajor triad, over the F# bass but it's not a sub or anything like that it still F#Min7. The short break was all E major.

    I need to stop the repeating thing - I think you're giving me hint there - I'm starting to bore myself with that as well The first repeating thing was arps following the chords and then all E major after that. Not that happy with the guitar but you gotta go with what you've got..

    On the other bit, based on my limited knowledge, these key cycles in jazz tunes are often strings of ii - V's only resolving to the I at the end of a cycle? (well something like that anyway). EDIT: DOh! you already said that the I becomes the new ii etc..

  14. #14
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Nice Thread Russ!!
    Great takes everyone!! I'm definately looking forward to some of our 'Jazzers' having a crack at this one!! This could be a really good learning experience for all us Non-Jazzers!!!
    I'll have something posted later in the week, still a bit busy with this Radio Project, but I need to take some time out from it before it drives me even more insane than I am already!!!

  15. #15
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    What a great idea. I have never really understood the characteristicness of the ii - V(7) - I progression. Now I can hopefully dive into it and learn a few things!

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